Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment

I left a lot out of my powerpoint in the interest of time (although we still had a lengthy discussion afterwards lol), so I didn’t mention child maltreatment very much. But someone inquired about the relationship between domestic violence and child maltreatment. These two issues, unfortunately, overlap very strongly. Children who are exposed to domestic violence, even a little bit, are at a very high risk of exhibiting negative emotional and psychological behaviors. There is also evidence to suggest that abused children grow up to become abusers themselves, which compounds the problem. But specific to child maltreatment, mothers who are abused suffer numerous consequences that will affect the mother/child relationship. Mothers may become depressed, anti-social, have attachment problems, etc. This makes them unable to adequately care for their children. In addition, abusers who abuse their partners/spouses are also more than likely abusing the children. This results in a very ugly and dangerous family situation. To me, domestic violence is very much it’s own detrimental cycle. The abuse itself, in addition to the consequences of abuse, are also risk factors for abuse once again. It’s like it never ends, but it can with serious attention and effort.

Centers For Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Intimate partner violence. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/intimatepartnerviolence/index.html

Lien, H. (2003). Child protection in families experiencing domestic violence. Retrieved from https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubs/usermanuals/domesticviolence/domesticviolenceb.cfm

2 thoughts on “Domestic Violence & Child Maltreatment

  1. Tabitha-

    Thanks for continuing this conversation that Rand brought up in class. We never have enough time in class! From above: “In addition, abusers who abuse their partners/spouses are also more than likely abusing the children.”

    This is exactly what our research was in Viet Nam was about. We had 8 categories; I wish I could post our pictogram breakdown of the groups. Basically there were men who did and didn’t perpetrate against wives and/or children. These men were further stratified by whether or not they were exposed to mother and/or child perpetration when they were younger (mother violence and/or father–>child violence (did not have to be the man we interviewed, could have been his siblings) but now did not perpetrate violence upon his family now. So yes, the cycle of IPV and child violence is hard to break sometimes. There were reassuring cases, though. Some men who were exposed to both when they were younger now did not perpetrate against their family members at all because of all the negative effects they observed and felt. Also, it was a little hard to find men who were exposed to neither F->M or F->child violence and perpetrated now. Perhaps it was something in society that influenced him, but it certainly wasn’t his father’s actions in the family.

    Thanks for the IPV discussion! Loved it!

    • Thanks for the response, Chau! I found your presentation at the International Scholar Day to be particularly interesting, because I planned to present / write on domestic violence as well! I was really surprised by how the Vietnamese men were so honest and open with you all — you must have established a lot of trust. But your research in Vietnam certainly highlights the two sides the abused take: Abused may also abuse their children because that’s all they know from their upbringing, or abused may NOT abuse their children because they do not want to inflict on their children the same harm that was inflicted on them. This is why research says abused children are likely to perpetrate against others, because there is a high correlation between the two. However, as you have pointed out, not all of them will. Great research! I wonder what other factors play into these decisions — whether victims repeat the behavior or not?

      I am also very glad we were all able to have such a lengthy and fruitful discussion about many issues surrounding Domestic Violence. Thank you (and everyone in class) for participating!

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